Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.
How Germs Spread
Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:
- Touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
- Touch a contaminated surface or objects
- Blow your nose, cough or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects
Key Times to Wash Hands
You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:
- Before and after you put on, take off, or adjust your face covering.
- Before you touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Before, during and after preparing food
- Before and after eating food
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
The guidance for the list of key times to wash hands was developed based on data from a number of studies. There can also be other times when it is important to wash hands. Additional information on hand washing can be found on the CDC website.
All classrooms will be provided with disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer that have been approved by the EPA for effectiveness and low toxicity. Additional disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be made available in key administrative areas.